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How They See It: Pundits' Picks


*Each week, contributing writer Daniel Cox examines the NFL experts and their Falcons picks and compiles it all to see who believes the most in the Atlanta Falcons. ESPN's Ron Jaworkski, Merril Hoge, Fox' Adam Schein and the AJC's Jeff Schultz all won last week, improving to 9-2. They're now in a six-way tie for first with ESPN's Mark Schlereth and's Gregg Rosenthal, who were leading the league last week, but after picking the Packers in Week 12 to defeat the Falcons, they've fallen off the pace. Twelve of the 17 pundits selected the Falcons this week to defeat the Bucs. *

Last week made a believer out of a few of them.

Five of the six pundits who picked the Packers to defeat the Falcons came back to the good side this week and are on board with Atlanta.

The lone outlier for two straight weeks is Dave Goldberg of AOL Fanhouse, which is odd for him, because he was with the Falcons every step of the way until last week.

The six-way tie at the top further obscures Accuscore, which the Falcons have essentially "beaten" for three weeks. Its 8-3 record is not bad, but is middle-of-the-pack in this race.

Lost in obscurity are two of the best, Adam Schefter and Peter King.

Quietly — just like the Falcons — the local pundit, Jeff Schultz, is sitting with the national leaders at 9-2. He's at the bottom of the list by chance, but don't be surprised — again like the Falcons — if he's the last man standing.

"The Baby Bucs showed me a lot in their gritty effort up in Baltimore, but Matt Ryan is beyond locked-in right now. He's a robot at this point. I think he finds a way on the road in this one." - Peter Schrager, NFL Week 13 Preview and Picks * "While Josh Freeman is capable of taking over a game, Atlanta's mistake-free brand of football will find a way to win against a vulnerable Bucs defense..." - Gregg Rosenthal,'s Week 13 picks * "I like Tampa's chances to break the can't-beat-a-team-with-a-winning-record schneid, and this one comes down to which team makes a couple of big plays late. I like Thomas DeCoud and Curtis Lofton to come up big down the stretch for the Birds." - Peter King,'s Weekend Pickoff * "The Falcons have won five straight, Matt Ryan completed 69.3 percent of his passes in November for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions and suddenly the franchise is national TV material. Don't get dizzy from the altitude." -Jeff Schultz, *AJC*' Blog.

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